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June 2022: spitefully happy

Three photos of the same seaside landscape, showing a white boathouse, the ocean, and faraway mountains, in all kinds of summer weather (except the grey days, because they looked so dull in photos).
Three photos of the same seaside landscape, showing a white boathouse, the ocean, and faraway mountains, in the best kinds of summer weather.
Three photos of the same seaside landscape, showing a white boathouse, the ocean, and faraway mountains, in the best kinds of summer weather.

Another month of Many Bad Things, which I dealt with by being spitefully happy whenever I could. Spent seven hours at the hospital — twice? Sing loudly and intentionally badly in the car all the way home. Tired of the apartment being a mess, wanting to fix it yourself, but too tired to do so? Self-date, complete with a fancy dress (dirty hair is fine), popcorn and a movie from the 90s. Utterly fed up with medications, appointments, being Responsible and Practical and Adult? At least thirty minutes on the sunbed in the shade, smelling the lemon thyme and the salty sea air until the world grows large again.

Spiteful happiness — because it works©.

A part of a garden, with leafy trees, wooden seating, and plants in pots. A white bath mat hangs to dry on an old-school drying rack.
A part of a garden, with leafy trees, wooden seating, and plants in pots. A white bath mat hangs to dry on an old-school drying rack.

Outside

Three seagull babies, finally! I do get a bit obsessed with them, but they’re the closest I’ll get to having a pet and also they’re adorable. Sudden wind and dark skies, all thundery and hot. The amazing smell of summer rain. Big rainbows, apt for June. A stereotypically aloof cat. Airing out all the blankets and rugs.

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May 2022: spring, at last

Three photos of the same seaside landscape, showing a white boathouse, the ocean, and faraway mountains, seen in varieties of beautiful spring weather.
Three photos of the same seaside landscape, showing a white boathouse, the ocean, and faraway mountains, seen in varieties of beautiful spring weather.

Oh, May, what a ride you’ve been. There were way too many doctors for my liking, but I’m not too keen to remember that, so instead let’s pretend this month was nothing but glorious light, comfy beds and linen garments. To get in the right mood, listen to soothing piano music when reading this post (like the Peaceful Piano playlist on Spotify). Even better if you can sit by an open window, with a cool ocean breeze and the smell of freshly cut grass drifting in through white, flowy curtains. If that’s not possible, I hope my photos will help you pretend so, at least for a little while.

Outside

An otter, swimming back and forth each night at around 2 am, earning it stern glances from the seagulls currently brooding on the svaberg (the smooth rocks behind the boathouse). An eagle trying to steal seagull eggs (it’s exhausting to be emotionally invested in seagull eggs, I tell you). Russ, the high school seniors in their uniforms, in the boathouse, partying the night before our constitution day. Tiny coltsfoot (hestehov), a sign that spring is finally happening. Clean windows (thanks, mum!). Two white reindeer, an adult and a young one, taking a nap in the shade by the boathouse, then coming up to our fence to nibble at the still-dead grass.

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A style prologue

A headshot of Maria, a white woman in her 30s. She has dark, wavy hair and a fringe, brown eyes, and is wearing a black shirt. Her head is tilted up and back, and she looks straight into the camera.
A headshot of Maria, a white woman in her 30s. She has dark, wavy hair and a fringe, brown eyes, and is wearing a black shirt. Her head is tilted up and back, and she looks straight into the camera.

As I was working on the blog post about my style commitment for 2022, I found myself repeatedly putting in sections explaining, say, how I no longer care about dressing in a flattering way, or how different it is to look for clothes now that I’m properly plus sized. I decided to write a separate blog post about this —  a style prologue, if you will. So much has changed since I last wrote about clothing and style, and if you’re reading this with 2012-Maria in mind, it’ll just get confusing for all of us.

So, what’s changed? Well, ten years have passed, so basically everything! But let’s stick to clothing-related changes for this blog post, shall we?

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April 2022: the in-between month

Three photos of the same seaside landscape, showing a white boathouse, the ocean, and faraway mountains, seen in various weather and amount of cloud coverage.
Three photos of the same seaside landscape, showing a white boathouse, the ocean, and faraway mountains, seen in various weather and amount of cloud coverage.

Up here, April is the month that just can’t decide what it wants to be. One day it’s 14° C and not a cloud in sight, the next we’ll get five inches of snow in a night. It makes me feel restless and off-kilter somehow, like I, too, am stuck in an in-between state and can’t make up my mind about anything. It leads to impulsive haircuts, unfinished books and unfinished projects, and hangriness because I can’t decide what to eat. As I’m writing this, on April 30th, I can see how the world outside has changed since the beginning of the month, though, tipping more and more into spring — finally.

Outside

Dry asphalt! The most wildly pink sky I’ve seen in a very long time. The sun finally hitting the mountains from the northern angle again. A crowd of porpoise, at least six of them, swimming quite close to the shore. The song of a particular kind of tit, always starting its monotone chirps around 3am, a reminder for me to put my book away. A giant flock of beech finches, singing so weirdly I was genuinely worried when I woke up that morning and heard it. Breakfast on the terrace on a particularly sunny day.

Snow, on April 25. And 26. And 27, 28, and 29. I’m normally okay with our kind of climate here, but sometimes you just want spring, you know?

On the last day of easter break: an adult strolling down to the shore, then angrily and vigorously flinging rocks into the water, then calmly walking away again.

Inside

Yellow tulips. Asking for help with things like dusting and interior projects and plant maintenance. Doing a new thing where I clear the kitchen counters before bed (unless I’m so tired I just can’t), thinking it’ll make Future Maria so happy (Future Maria always is). Mum painting my new-ish shelf, so it’s no longer black, matte metal and untreated wood (a nightmare to dust!), but matte gold and a soft green like the wall behind it. Upholstery shenanigans.

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March 2022: daylight, dust and romance

Three side-by-side photos of the same seaside landscape in early spring, showing a white boathouse, the ocean, and faraway mountains. The weather changes from heaps of snow and heavy clouds, to less snow and wispy clouds, to bare ground and blue skies.
Three side-by-side photos of the same seaside landscape in early spring, showing a white boathouse, the ocean, and faraway mountains. The weather changes from heaps of snow and heavy clouds, to less snow and wispy clouds, to bare ground and blue skies (this is purely symbolic, as the snow naturally came back).

Outside:

Bright, bright sunshine. The first day you could smell the ocean again (you can’t when it’s very cold outside). Two squat herons. Cat tracks in the snow. Lots of helicopters and military boats. Dry asphalt, in the short-lived Fool’s Spring we had for a week. Daylight for well into the evening, now that we’ve set our clocks to summer time. One glorious day out, buying two nail polishes, trying to flirt with someone (and realizing the pandemic has severely corroded my witty banter abilities), and also buying my own fruit and veg (instead of getting whatever the person packing my online order gives me). Had breakfast on the terrace, safely wrapped in my puffy coat and SPF 30.

Inside:

Sun into the entire apartment at seven in the morning. Partially lowered blinds on Waiting Days (that is, my most tired days). New-to-me lacy curtains in the bedroom. Packed away the beeswax candles. Also struggling to keep up with housework because of many Waiting Days, and so much dust (any tips for how to have… less dust?).

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